On September 14, the top article on the front page of the Sankei Shimbun newspaper was entitled, “Presenting a case against Korea at the WTO.” On September 6 – right before the general meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that determines the location of the Olympic Games – the Korean government announced that it would fully prohibit imports of marine products from eight prefectures (Fukushima, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, and Chiba) due to growing concerns about the leakage of contaminated water. In Japan, some people have said that Korea was attempting to obstruct Tokyo’s Olympic bid via its announcement of this embargo directly before the IOC general meeting. Based on this, it was reported that the Japanese government began considering the presentation of a case against Korea to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by the end of the year, on the grounds that these are unjust import restrictions with no scientific foundation.
On September 11, Le Canard enchaîné – a weekly newspaper in France – published a cartoon depicting two emaciated sumo wrestlers with three arms and three legs each, eyeballs protruding, due to the effects of the nuclear accident. They are wrestling in front of nuclear facilities where an explosion is taking place. Moreover, a man who looks like a reporter comments, “Sumo has become an Olympic event thanks to Fukushima.” In response, at an interview on September 12 Chief Cabinet Secretary Naoto Kan said this cartoon hurt the feelings of the people who had been evacuated from Fukushima, and was “improper and immensely regrettable” information that created a mistaken impression regarding Japan. A protest was lodged against Le Canard enchaîné via the Embassy of France in Japan. The editor-in-chief of this publication exposed his arrogance when he replied, “I don’t see what the problem is. I have no intention of apologizing.”
If, for example, this nuclear accident had occurred in the United States or England, would a cartoon of this sort – related to the Olympics – have appeared in the French media? Were awful cartoons like this one drawn after the accident at Chernobyl? I cannot help but feel that the background to this issue is the prejudice felt by white people against Asians.
In my essay in last month’s issue, I wrote:
Information strategy warfare throughout the world has grown harsher. China and the U.S. reproach each other, saying the other country is the mastermind of cyber attacks, but both are certainly carrying out such attacks. In addition to the collection and analysis of information – including intercepted data – confusing information is spread, and cyber attacks are mounted against the computer servers of other countries. This is a normal part of national security guarantees in the modern era. The problem is that Japan is not threatened by this reality.
We should promptly create a system in which, at least, television programs, newspaper articles, and other public information in the languages of countries that can impact Japan can be gathered and analyzed. Erroneous reports and those that censure Japan should be refuted, and a request should be made for amendment, within 24 hours. We must also construct a structure that allows us to engage in immediate counterattacks against cyber terrorism.
However, with the founding of the Shinzo Abe government, Japan’s stance is finally moving towards one in which it objects to mistaken reports and claims by other countries – like the aforementioned embargo by Korea and the French cartoon – and engages in counterattacks. Up until now, Japan has merely submitted to the assertions of other countries and made no responses to them. Consequently, people have come to accept the claims of these countries as truth. Just like the Nanking Massacre that China advocates and the comfort woman issue contention by Korea, news has been spread around the world suggesting incidents that never happened were perpetrated by the Japanese Army. People across the globe who believe in these end up criticizing Japan. If Japan had gone on the counteroffensive from the outset, the current situation would not be occurring.
Korea insists that its embargo on marine products is caused by the contaminated water from the nuclear accident in Fukushima. Therefore, it makes no sense that this embargo also includes Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures, where there is no ocean. This is a reaction by Korean President Park Guen-hye who is criticized for being pro-Japanese since her father, Park Chung-hee, as a commissioned officer in the Japanese Army. In response to this base propaganda by Korea – conducted so that President Park can strengthen her political power – in his final presentation at the IOC general meeting, Abe reassured the committee members in a composed way by saying, “Monitoring in coastal waters indicates the value of the radioactive materials is up to 1/500th of the drinking water guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). There are no current or future health issues.” Consequently, it was decided to hold the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The anti-Japanese media inside Japan is playing one part in the declining image of Japan. Anxiety is induced by using the incomprehensible unit of “10 trillion becquerels” for radioactive materials in the contaminated water produced up until now, with no scientific basis or calculations of statistical probability. Even if radioactive materials are discharged in the 0.3 square kilometers in the harbor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, they are diluted in ocean water. Therefore, they total around 1/500th of the water quality guidelines for drinking water. In this way – even though these emitted radioactive materials will not harm health in any way – the anti-Japanese media stirs up extreme fear regarding radioactivity, and is devoted to showing contempt for Japan in all ways. Korea and China are also using these reports to attack Japan.
As it gets ready to hold the Olympics in Tokyo for the first time in 56 years, all of Japan should be putting on a show of welcome and banding together as one to make preparations. Despite this, the media relentlessly clings to Abe’s statement in his presentation, when he said, “The contaminated water is fully contained in the 0.3 square kilometer-area in the harbor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.” The media criticizes this statement, saying that ocean water flows inside and outside of the silt fence, so it cannot be blocked off. However, this water flow dilutes the radioactive materials even further; only radioactive materials of even less than 1/500th of the WHO drinking water standard have been detected. However, the media barely reports on this at all. Media outlets should convey this in a grand way in order to make the citizens feel peace of mind, but they conversely instigate feelings of anxiety only. Why on earth is this the case?
The media has stirred up fear in this way many times in the past as well. In 2003 there was the SARS scare, followed by the uproar over new strains of pandemic influenza in 2009. Media reports showed officials wearing protective clothing being subjected to decontamination inside airplanes, which made people feel more concern than was necessary.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident, the U.S. Forces carried out Operation Tomodachi. It stationed the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan 160 to 200 kilometers from the nuclear power plant. Videos of helicopters and soldiers returning from relief work being decontaminated were shown throughout the world. No information was publically disclosed, such as the amount of radioactivity in the regions where the work was being performed, or why the decontamination was being carried out. Therefore, the only thing conveyed by these videos was a vague sense of unease.
The chance of being killed by a meteorite falling from the sky is nearly zero. But if one depended on the reports of the media, one would never go outside in order to avoid accidental death by meteorite. This unscientific news results in financial damage stemming from misinformation. Instead of news like the French newspaper that ran a cartoon with three-legged sumo wrestlers, I strongly hope that the Japanese media will report on things in a correct way that allows citizens to live with peace of mind.
The Abe administration is in the process of creating a system for pointing out mistaken news reports and sending protests to the institutions that released them. In addition, I believe that it should create a “Ministry of Information and Publicity” – an intelligence institution with 3,000 staff members and a yearly budget of 300 billion yen. This ministry should promptly gather incorrect information and news reports that censure Japan from throughout the world, and then make counterattacks.
In the 21st century, wars throughout the world are not focused on forcing another country to yield through military power. Rather, they have been transformed into struggles to steal away wealth and interests via information stratagems. By strongly insisting that the Nanking Massacre took place – which is frankly impossible – China is scheming to possess the Senkaku Islands and their territorial waters, and to acquire the underground resources beneath these waters. The reason for these circumstances is that Japan did not clearly and persistently refute the Nanking Massacre.
Since the founding of the Abe government, it has engaged in propaganda activities in a much more skillful way than the previous government. However, the government should take the additional step of establishing a Ministry of Information and Publicity, and a system should be created in which news reports that are disadvantageous to Japan are objected to within 24 hours.
Up until now I have visited 77 countries across the world. In the past five or six years I have traveled to many nations, and have constantly asked for votes in favor of holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as for support for the abolishment of the “former enemy” clause in the Charter of the United Nations. My dream of having the Olympics held in Tokyo for the second time has finally been realized. Next, I hope the former enemy clause will be repealed. The view of the Japanese government is that, in this clause, “former enemy” refers to the seven countries of Japan, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Finland. If these countries joined together and this clause was not abolished in the next three years, I think it would be acceptable to take measures to the level of even stopping financial contributions to the UN.
The name “United Nations” is purposefully misleading; the correct name should be the “Allied Nations.” Only victorious countries from World War II are given the position of standing member-nations, which have the right of veto. Almost 70 years have passed since this war, and the UN fulfills the major role of helping to prevent war between different countries. It is time for the UN to be reformed in a major way; I feel that it should be transformed into an international organization in which its member-nations are equal in the true sense of the word. To that end, Japan shouldn’t be the only one to speak up. Now that all so-called “enemy nations” are members of the UN, one could say that this clause is meaningless. In 1995 Japan and Germany submitted a resolution to the UN General Assembly asking that this clause be eliminated from the UN Charter. It was adopted by a majority vote, but it did not achieve ratification by two thirds of the member-nations, which is necessary for revisions to the UN Charter. Ac cordingly, the resolution did not come into effect. The countries regarded as enemy nations should join forces to advance this cause as soon as possible.
For Japan to become a decent nation, it will be necessary to abolish the UN Charter’s former enemy clause and to revise the Constitution of Japan. I think the Abe administration should carry out full-scale efforts to this end. Furthermore, we should create an independent army after reforming the constitution, and then carry out independent arms development – it costs too much money for a country that developed weapons to be the sole user of them. In the end, due to budget concerns the Japanese weapons will not be adopted, and American weapons from one generation prior – for which development expenses have already been depreciated – will have to be purchased at high costs. Just like many countries – including the U.S., China, Russia, and France – Japan should make use of its technical abilities to develop cutting-edge weapons. We should use them for our own army, and also export weapons from the previous generation to overseas countries. In the past there were restrictions on arms exports by free nations to the communist bloc, but these have mostly disappeared now. Weapon exports are determined by whether national interests are met.
Japan’s defense budget (war expenditures) is number five in the world after the U.S., China, Russia, and England. Despite the large amount of money that is spent, Japan only has defensive weapons, while offensive ones are prohibited, so the efficiency is quite bad. Offense is the best defense; deterrence is accomplished by possessing offensive weapons that make it possible to wage a counter-attack. This is the common sense of the world, and no other countries purposefully bind themselves like Japan does with its Self-Defense Forces. Peace is not accomplished just by wishing for it – the people of Ancient Rome said, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” Japan must shift more attention to what is actually real.
At the risk of repeating myself, warfare today is either economic conflict or information strategy warfare. For economic competition, Japan should aim to become a country that is focused on tourism and science and technology, and should work to regain the position of the world’s second-largest economic power. The number of foreign visitors to Japan will soon reach 10 million people. We should aim to double this number to 20 million by the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. In the realm of information strategy, together with building the Ministry of Information and Publicity we will also need to create a cyber unit to wage cyber warfare. A strong desire to protect Japan needs to exist in the background of these new organizations. To that end as well, it will be important to learn correct information about Japan’s modern and current history, and for the Japanese ethnic group to learn that it is the target of respect from throughout the world, now and in the future.
The citizens of Japan do not have pride now because of the U.S.’s successful brainwashing program to instill a sense of masochism in the people of Japan. To place restraints on the Soviet Union in the fight for global hegemony, the U.S. finished the atomic bombs and dropped them on Japan. In order to avoid being criticized by Japan afterwards, the U.S. carried out this program during its occupation of Japan, saying that the Japanese Army had committed even worse acts. During the 70 years after the war, educational institutions have taught mistaken history in line with the intentions of the United States. Media outlets then convey incorrect history in the same way. China and Korea use this information to censure Japan, while the anti-Japanese media exaggerates these things even more to continually make news reports that place the blame on Japan. This should be stopped.
Abe is working to avert a head-on fight with the U.S. and is carrying out detour tactics. He is accomplishing results one at a time, such as the determination to hold the Olympics in Tokyo – the fourth arrow after bold monetary policy, flexible fiscal policy, and growth strategies to encourage private investment. I have great expectations regarding Abe’s actions, and I hope he will aim to be in power over the long term until the Tokyo Olympic Games so that Japan can regain pride once again. I intend to support him to the best of my ability.
5:20 p.m., September 24, 2013 (Tuesday)